In my past life I was a hairstylist. I worked at a cute salon in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I wore trendy clothes and adorable shoes. Heals. I wore heals. Regularly. My hair was constantly changing, because, why not? Hubby got to the point where weekly he would tell me he liked my new style, just to cover the bases.
When I was stressed or upset or trying to work through something, it came out in my hair. It is the one thing that I could control. One month I sported 5 different complete colors (that’s what taking pre-reqs and applying to nursing school will do to you. I also developed an eye twitch that hung on for 6 months). From blonde to black, which I actually quite liked. When we moved from Michigan I set down my shears in the professional arena. I didn’t have the time to get re-licensed in Idaho, but I kept my Montana license always. I still have it. Even though I don’t stand behind the chair anymore. I just can’t give it up.
A part of me still misses doing hair. The smells. The creativity of it. The relationships I built with my clients. It was one of the most fun times of my life and walking into a salon always brings back the memories.
I’ve made some changes over the last few years. I decided to grow my hair out when I was in nursing school and as it grows about as fast as molasses, it took awhile. Three years, really, to get it where I wanted it. And then it had taken so long I didn’t dare cut it. I’ve actually had nightmares about cutting my hair. Ridiculous, isn’t it?
I stopped coloring it too. For seven years my hair hasn’t felt a drop of color or bleach. I embraced it. Went back to my hippy roots a bit. And I held on. I was told once that older women shouldn’t have long hair. I don’t follow directions well and so when I became a mom I think I sort of told myself that I had to keep my hair long to show that I didn’t buy into that theory.
But I’ve hit a point. Maybe it’s an early mid-life crisis. Maybe it’s just that I’m not where I want to be in various areas of my life. Maybe I’m just bored. But I went to bed last night thinking about it and I woke up this morning with resolve. After the kids left for school, with the babe still sleeping, I did it.
It was so liberating to feel the cool steel of my shears against my neck and hear the harsh snip of 7 years. After the first cut, there’s no going back. I cut by feel. Pulling and adjusting. And in the end, I felt like a new woman. Thirteen inches and seven years. Gone.
It’s a beautiful thing.
I feel like the girl I used to be. And it feels great.